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About us

Since 1968, Arvon has been offering people time and space to write, with  an annual programme of residential courses and retreats  at  three rural writing houses – in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire. In beautiful countryside, with expert tuition from leading authors and the support of other like-minded writers, you can feed your imagination and let your stories flourish.

The courses are tutored by some of the most acclaimed authors writing today, including Mark Haddon, Bernardine Evaristo, Jim Crace, Sinead Morrissey, Simon Armitage, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Willy Russell, Malorie Blackman and Melvin Burgess. Past tutors have included Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie and Beryl Bainbridge.

Our adult programme covers a wide range of genres, for all levels of experience, from beginners to emerging and published writers. A third of all our courses are with schools and community groups.

We offer you more than a writing course. We’ve cultivated the ideal environment for your creativity to thrive. Time and time again, we hear how surprised and delighted people are by the results of their Arvon week, and how the experience has boosted their confidence and creativity long after.

See here for our courses

A short film about Arvon’s residential creative writing courses and retreats, featuring Mark Haddon, Andrew Motion, Bernardine Evaristo, Nell Leyshon, Katie Green, Willy Russell and Nick Stimson

At Arvon, everyone who crosses the door of one of our writing houses is a writer – no matter what their age or writing experience – and all are welcome.  Thanks to the support of Arts Council England and generous donors, we’re able to offer grants to cover some or all of the course fee. Nine out of ten people who apply receive some support. Find out how to apply here.

There are plenty of newcomers on the scene offering short courses for writers but Arvon remains in a class of its own. An Arvon course can change your life. It’s as simple as that.
— Andrew Miller

From the outset it was the founders of Arvon’s belief that an Arvon Centre was a ‘Freehouse of the Imagination’, and as such didn’t belong to, but was owned by anyone and everyone who opened themselves to being part of its life.

— John Moat


We believe creative writing can change lives for the better. Creative writing allows us to harness our imagination and find our voice. It creates new possibilities, new ideas, new futures. It unlocks our potential, our empathy and our hope. And we’re keen to share this opportunity for transformation with as many people as possible

INCLUSIVE: Everyone is creative. We make spaces that are open to all, where anyone, regardless of writing experience, feels welcome and included as part of a community of writers.

INSPIRING: Step away from the routine, be inspired by writers and our beautiful places and release your imaginative potential. Arvon is a place for contemplation, challenge and going beyond what you thought you were capable of achieving.

SUPPORTIVE: Creative writing is a craft that can be learnt, through guidance from experts, and through the peer support that comes from creative friendships with fellow writers. At Arvon, writers teach writers, and everyone encourages each other to become a better writer.

TRANSFORMATIVE: Immersing yourself in creative writing nourishes the imagination, can deepen the connection to self and to the world, and can lead to dramatic change and progress.